Monday, November 01, 1999

Sports fields built just in time

Lakota can barely keep up with need

Enquirer Contributor

        LIBERTY TOWNSHIP — Seeding will begin this week at the Lakota Sports Organization's (LSO) Walter J. Long Memorial Park.

        Bulldozers will have finished moving the 39,000 cubic yards of dirt needed to level the 21-acre park at 7894 Kyles Station Road, said Ric Welker, LSO president. Eight feet of dirt had to taken off the highest hills and moved to the lowest slope to make room for ball fields the LSO plans to develop there over two years.

        “We finally paid off the land notes and were able to take out a loan to grade it and plant seed,” Mr. Welker said. “We'll let it take hold and begin practicing there next fall (2000) and have full use by spring 2001.”

        Schumacher-Dugan Construction is doing the site preparation and final grade work. John Huffman, of Huffman Sportscapes in Florence, will seed the site.

        The fields are needed. The organization continues to increase the number of teams to accommodate the growing population in Union and Liber ty townships. During 1999 the LSO increased its baseball roster by 350 players, its softball by nearly 100 and soccer by 150 players. There were more than 4,800 participants from 3,500 families playing on 350 teams, Mr. Welker said.

        “With all of the growth in the area, we were concerned that we may someday have more kids than our fields can handle,” Mr. Welker said. “By developing additional fields, we hope to stay ahead of the growth.”

        Next spring the LSO could lose three fields when Liberty Township develops a road maintenance/salt bin facility. There are so many teams competing for fields that, whenbaseball begins in the spring, teams will be restricted to 10 minutes of practice before each game, Mr. Welker said.

        Two baseball fields, two softball fields, two soccer fields and space for two soccer fields for instructional games are planned for the site, Mr. Welker said. There also will be an irrigation system, concession stands, paved parking and possibly lights.


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- Sports fields built just in time